Ukrainian Envoy Says Kiev Should Present West With a Bill for Refusing to Accept Country Into NATO
© Sputnik / Alexandr DemyanchukUS and Ukrainian notes
© Sputnik / Alexandr Demyanchuk/
The suggestion follows a proposal by the head of Ukraine’s Accounts Chamber that international creditors write off Ukraine’s $57 billion in foreign debt in light of the Russian military operation in the country. The country’s finance ministry dismissed the latter idea and vowed to continue servicing its debt on time and in full.
Western countries should be billed for failing to fulfill its “obligation” to accept Ukraine into the Western bloc, Ukrainian Ambassador to Turkey Vasil Bodnar has said.
“The West has largely miscalculated, and now we must present them with a bill – you did not fulfill your obligations. Since 2008 you did not accept Ukraine into NATO, you failed to provide an effective guarantee and did not help to effectively counter this aggression,” Bondar said in an interview with Rada TV.
The official accused Western powers serving as guarantors of the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances of crawling under a rock after the Russian military operation in the country began, “even though everyone says ‘we’re helping’.”
Bondar did not elaborate on just how much Kiev should ask the West in compensation, or how it would hope on actually getting this money.
The envoy’s proposal is not original. Earlier this month, Accounts Chamber of Ukraine head Valeriy Patskan suggested that given the “colossal” scale of destruction the country had experienced, foreign creditors should “write off” Kiev’s $57 billion foreign debt.
1 March, 17:12 GMT
Ukraine’s finance ministry walked back these comments a week later, assuring Reuters that Kiev would “continue honouring our debt even in these extraordinary conditions.”
Ukraine paid out over $697 million to creditors in January and February, and will have to pay $3.7 billion more between March and December. The ministry said it had issued “war bonds” after borrowing overseas became prohibitive, and that it is “working to maximize the funding from both sources to meet all the budget needs including debt repayments.”
The US provided Ukraine with $1 billion in additional loan guarantees in February, and the EU and World Bank have promised to send 300 million euros and $350 million, respectively. The International Monetary Fund has an additional $1.4 billion in emergency loan assistance to the country. Ukraine joined the IMF in 1992 with a foreign debt of $0 thanks to Russia’s commitment to take on the USSR’s $100+ billion in liabilities. In the decades since, successive governments in Kiev have piled up tens of billions in debt, with Western creditors and governments including the US taking advantage of Ukraine’s dependence on foreign loans to get its government to change its policies.
The 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances committed Russia, the UK and the US to refrain from military or economic coercion against Ukraine “except in self-defence or otherwise in accordance with” the UN charter, in exchange for a commitment by Kiev to give up its Soviet-era nuclear weapons stockpile.
Russia accused the US and its allies of violating the memorandum by supporting the coup d’etat in Kiev in 2014. Last month, after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky hinted that Kiev might walk out on the agreement, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the memorandum contained “no obligation to recognize anti-state coups, nor the obligation to accommodate a regime that has declared a genocide against part of its own people.”